“Sonic hasn’t been good for a long time.” “Sonic has never been good.” How many times have we seen articles about Sega’s incredibly popular mascot start this way?
The fact is, despite enduring a consistently more mixed (at times outright cynical and negative) critical reception than longstanding rival Mario from Nintendo, Sonic the Hedgehog still has legions of dedicated fans, and has done since he first appeared on our screens in 1991.
This month, we’re going to be taking a look at a wide variety of Sonic the Hedgehog games from across time, ranging from his first 2D platformer forays up until his more recent 3D adventures… and, of course, his extremely well-received return to 2D in the form of Sonic Mania, the physical Plus release of which was the catalyst for this whole set of features.
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Introduction
Hyrule Warriors incorporates a variety of characters from across the Zelda timeline, but also has a few original creations in the mix, too.
One of these is the busty main antagonist Cia, who at the time of writing you can admire in the banner at the top of the page. She most certainly has her considerable appeal… but I think I’d be a bit terrified of what she’d do to me if she ever found out I’d called her a “waifu”.
So let’s take an altogether safer option: Lana, a delightfully cheery young woman whom you come into contact with relatively early in Hyrule Warriors’ main story.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Lana
The Warriors series as a whole has experimented with a few twists on its basic mechanics over the years, and Hyrule Warriors most certainly provides one of the most accessible, immediate takes there is.
This is at least partly down to the influence of Koei Tecmo’s division Team Ninja, who played a role in the game’s development alongside longstanding series producers Omega Force. The result is a speedy, fluid Warriors game that is easy to get into but challenging to master in its entirety.
Today we’re going to take a look at the various components that make Hyrule Warriors’ gameplay tick, and see how they come together to create such an enjoyable experience.
Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: Leading the Charge
Despite selling extremely well, Nintendo’s Wii — or, more accurately, its software library — is not something that gets talked about a whole bunch these days.
This is largely down to the fact that its motion and pointer controls were seen by many as “gimmicky” despite how accessible they made gaming to people who had historically never picked up a controller. But, as anyone who has taken the time to get to know the Wii and its substantial library of games will know, games where you point a remote at the screen aren’t automatically “bad”… or even “casual”.
Sometimes they’re really good. Like Eledees by Konami, also known as Elebits outside of PAL regions. But I’m from a PAL region, so it’s called Eledees so far as we’re concerned!
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Eledees
The Zelda series timeline is… complicated. Whether or not it was originally intended to be that way is a matter of opinion, but the fact remains: Zelda is complicated.
Hyrule Warriors is regarded as a non-canonical installment in the series as a whole. But to be honest, with the way it’s set up, it actually slots quite nicely into the convoluted timeline, albeit mostly unfolding in its own separate little corner, largely (but not completely) divorced from the main paths down which the series’ narratives progress.
Let’s take a look at how Hyrule Warriors fits in with Zelda lore as a whole… as well as how the series got to the state it’s in today.
Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: Fun with Timelines
With how well-received 2009’s DS title Rhythm Paradise was, it was only a matter of time before the series made the jump to home consoles — and the Wii was, of course, the perfect fit.
Since Nintendo’s unconventional but immensely popular console catered to a broad demographic almost identical to that of the DS, it made perfect sense to bring the series to players’ televisions. So that’s exactly what happened in 2011 in Japan, followed by a Western release in early 2012.
Like its predecessor, Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven Fever in North America) combines extremely simple, accessible mechanics with a gentle but firm difficulty curve — and the result is a highly enjoyable game that pretty much anyone can enjoy, regardless of their gaming experience.
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Beat the Beat – Rhythm Paradise
Omega Force’s Warriors (or Musou, if you prefer) is one of the longest-running, most prolific series in all of gaming. And yet it is also one of the most commonly misunderstood and misrepresented in terms of its gameplay.
Often dismissed by critics as being little more than mindless button-mashers, the Warriors series has, over time and the course of more than 50 individual releases for various platforms, continued to evolve and experiment to bring us to where we are today. Not only that, it has proven to be a great way to get people interested in a number of real-world historical events such as the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history (Dynasty Warriors) and the Sengoku period of Japanese history (Samurai Warriors) — as well as providing its developers the opportunity to explore more creative, fantastic stories that involve large-scale conflict.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (just Hyrule Warriors hereafter), of course, falls into the latter category… but before we dive into it in detail, let’s take a look at the series as a whole and see exactly how we got here.
Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: Introduction and History